LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 2-1-2016]
FEBRUARY 1, 2016
- Public comments
- Intersection improvement
- Master plan meeting
- African American History Month
- American Heart Month
All council members were present.
Rezoning issue on Mayfield Road: Fourteen residents spoke against the rezoning request by Circle K to enable building a large gas station and convenience store on Mayfield Road at Vandemar Street, where the former Center Mayfield Theatre is located. The development would also require demolishing two houses on Vandemar Street. Those speaking pointed out that there were already nine gas stations within the city; that better use of the land might include family restaurants, middle-income townhomes, a youth center, arts and culture facilities, or other more creative and attractive development; and that there was the potential for increased crime around a 16-pump, 24-hour business that sells alcohol, tobacco and snack foods. One speaker, with a military and civilian background in hazardous materials and waste management, presented details about air, ground and water contamination risks from petroleum, and the effects on child and adult health. Another speaker made a statement and presented detailed evidence about the effects of light and noise pollution. Residents also spoke about the possible architectural value of the current building, the contradiction with the city’s proposed master plan of “strong, safe vibrant neighborhoods,” and the risk of plummeting home values. Several pointed out the importance of involving neighbors who are directly affected in planning, and of the vulnerability of the areas of the city north of Mayfield Road.
Public schools coalition: Susie Kaeser of Compton Road, representing the Heights Coalition for Public Education, announced the “We Are More Than A Score” rally at five CH-UH elementary schools on Feb. 17. This is planned to “send the message that Ohio’s tests do not define us” and to show what we treasure about our schools and each child. The public is encouraged to attend; specific places and times may be found at chuh.net/coalition.
Pit bulls: Residents Lillian Pyles and Marjorie Pyles Hurst shared their concerns about recent mauling attacks by pit bulls and called for legislation to ban the breed in the city. Each has had occasion to call the police about serious situations. Mayor Cheryl Stephens responded that council has recognized the problem and the law director has drafted legislation that will be considered soon.
Council authorized an agreement with CT Consultants for engineering and support services relative to planning and implementing the city’s 2016 street and parking lot resurfacing program. Based on a percentage of the total cost, payment shall not exceed $133,800 without prior written authorization.
Council authorized submission of an application to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) for federal funding for improvements at the intersection of Overlook and Edgehill roads. The city and University Circle Inc. have prepared a Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative planning study titled, “The University Circle-Cleveland Heights Bicycle Network Study,” to increase the number of bicycle trips between Cleveland Heights and University Circle. The study proposed changes to this intersection for improved safety and comfort for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. If funding is awarded, an agreement with NOACA may require the city to fund a 20 percent match for the grant. That amount shall not exceed $50,000 without council approval.
Master plan meeting
A public meeting about the master plan for the city takes place Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center.
African American History Month
Council recognized February 2016 as National African American History Month in recognition of the accomplishments and contributions of African American citizens to this community and to the country. Council reaffirms its commitment to maintain Cleveland Heights as a truly integrated community, and to continue the tradition of appreciation and respect for its cultural diversity.
American Heart Month
Council proclaimed February 2016 as American Heart Month to promote education and awareness with the goal of reducing cardiovascular deaths. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for one in four deaths in the United States, and is the leading cause of mortality for both men and women.
LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.
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These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.
League of Women Voters
Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland